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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I've become a fan of "Bar Rescue"

In general, I'm not a fan of "reality TV" however as of late I've become a fan of Spike's Bar Rescue. The host of the show Jon Taffer visits many failing bars around the nation and then attempts to turn them around. Sometimes the changes take and sometimes the changes don't.

Only in one case did Taffer walk away before rescuing the bar. Often when introducing the bar in trouble the narrator often note that a respective bar pull back the doors, and bust open the books and made a call to Bar Rescue. But since this is about TV no one made a call probably they had to get the attention of producers to say "Hey come check out our bar, we're in trouble".

I often laugh when Taffer and his experts - who are usually other bartenders & cooks - get livid because the workers at these bars prove themselves to be not very good with sanitizing their work areas. I realize that a clean establishment helps make customers welcome but Taffer's performances in those instances seem over the top and hilarious.

Most of what you see in these episodes makes for good TV. Besides if everyone just agreed with each other - bar staff and consultants alike - it wouldn't make for good TV. It's takes drama and conflict and sometimes creative editing. I write in editing because I recognize there are also two sides to every story, what you see on TV may not be what really happened.

Even then however, the business aspects of Bar Rescue is fascinating. Food keeps customers in the bar, if you pour too much alcohol that's pouring money down the drain, you can create a narrow enough passageway where people must interact socially, and on & on. In talking about Taffer's experience rescuing a bar is often noted on the series as not just a business but a science.

As stated earlier some of the changes Taffer has made to these many bars have taken and some haven't. In some instances the owners and management were too stuck on a concept that wasn't working. And perhaps in some instances Taffer missed his mark anyway. Besides you can't get it right all the time!

Still I hope aspiring bar-owners are taking notes on what it takes to run a successful bar. Perhaps Taffer can inspire future "bar scientists". :P

Monday, July 28, 2014

Never be late for a job interview...

CTA Train Tracker
I've often stated my odd streak as far as my current job hunt goes. It's been quite weird but recognizing that a lot of people are looking and I'm sure many are having some success in finding a decent position. It's hard to think that others are having success where I'm just not.

Part of my bad luck comes from one mistake many shouldn't make when they job hunt. When going to an interview make sure you're on time. This issue has come up twice so far in my job hunting in the most obvious ways.

One time I was 10 minutes late and an employee at a store when I checked in escorted me to a backroom where a group interview had already started. She asked if they were taking anyone else and the answer resulted in me on my way out of the store cut out of the interview. I wish I knew what happened that day where I was close to 10 minutes late for that interview.

This story was more recent and it involved me going to work at a bank branch on the northwest side. It's a long way from the south side and I underestimated how long it would take to get up there.

Let me start by saying, you don't entirely control whether or not you get the job. The fact is the employer does whether it's someone from HR or the actual person you would be working for. They can think any way they want to think and their manner could be rude for whatever reason but fact is they control the job. And if they are rude or any way unprofessional to you as a job seeker perhaps you should be glad that HR or hiring manager didn't hire you.

That being said my interview was half-way across the city at a bank. Man it was a long way and made worse by one delay on the Red Line due to a medical issue and then my need to use the bathroom soon. Then I had to wait for a Blue Line train to get up to the northwest side for my interview and trains don't seem to run as regularly on the Blue as I would be used to on the Red.

Regardless when I got on the train it was smooth running until finally getting out of the subway as the train at some points creeped along until I got to my stop near where this bank was. Knowing that I was going to be late and not wanting to really jeopardize this opportunity I called the manager up to let her know that I was running late but was on my way.

Upon arrival I checked in and she came to meet me and asked what happened. I started explaining the situation and she quickly came up with more questions. For example I'd say what happened on the Red and then quickly talked about the issues with the Blue, her first question would be: "I thought you said the Red Line". Since it was a long way and my lateness now it became an issue of whether or not I could handle the long commute and being on time.

And the interview for that reason alone did not start off well at all. It could only go downhill as the on-time issue got brought up again with consideration of my resume as the manager let me know she wasn't impressed because I came to the bank almost 20 minutes late but lauded the rest of my resume. And then before giving me a surprise math test asked me how my employers would rate how often I was on-time.

All the same by the time I was finished with the test and was kept waiting with no idea how the interview was to proceed she came and got me and then sent me on my way. While I may have hoped that she would consider me for the job I ultimately figured it wasn't going to happen.

It was a long way up and had long hours it was already a tough sell for me and the pay was good but not being on-time killed the opportunity for me. At this point it was a tough lesson, but it was a tough lesson that was learned. :(

ALSO, as a side note often on my Instagram I have posted screencaps of CTA's train tracker as it pertains to a particular stop on a given CTA L route. It definitely would've come in handy that day, but more handy would've been a crystal ball.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A new description

I've thought about this from time to time. What if this blog needs a new description from the current religious subtitle it has currently?

This blog has been a lot of things over the years, but attribute that to it's open ended nature over the years. I've mostly written about politics but often about other things. There has been education - especially higher education with my time at Morehouse College. Then there's Chicago, photography, technology, politics, pop culture, history, and just life - especially with my adventures lately in jobhunting.

Perhaps this would be a good start - It's My Mind: Thoughts on politics, history, tech, pop culture, and life.

What do you think?

Friday, July 25, 2014

So could Mayor Rahm Emanuel lose in 2015???

Lately it seems the press in Chicago seems ready to defeat Mayor Rahm Emanuel. I recognize that when Rahm came into office in 2011 he was hitting the ground running on the many problems that his predecessor Mayor Richard M. Daley left him.

The current Mayor has to tackle violence in Chicago's neighborhoods, the Chicago Public Schools, financing city government, and even this so-called food desert. There were a lot of issues to tackle with more on the plate for sure!

Now people want to run against this mayor. No known names just yet a community activist from Chicago's west side and a former Chicago alderman who has long been a political player in Chicago. So far being floated in Chicago is a current Chicago alderman who was mapped out of his ward and a teacher's union head whom Rahm famously feud before, after, and during a recent teacher's strike. And who knows there may well be more seeking election to the Mayor's office.

You know what the more the merrier. Because I keep hearing stories about how unpopular the mayor is right now and at that wishes that New York style progressive politics could show up in Chicago I've had to take some notice. Besides it's almost funny that as a Democrat Rahm Emanuel is seen as a mayor for the 1% as the typical propaganda of Democrats being for the common man.

To start do I think Rahm Emanuel could get re-elected next year, yes. In my mind he's still a heavy favorite although I've been forced to amend my prediction. Now it's possible that the mayor could be the first to have to face a run-off election. Now could he still win, yes but his path to re-election is likely more difficult next year.

In 2011 Rahm won the election with 55% of the vote is it possible he won't get anywhere near that this time, YES. The more who runs against this mayor the better, however, I do hope they have a plan markedly different than the own currently implemented.

BTW, over at the Ward Room - via NBC Chicago - now they want illustrate how the mayor despite his fundraising advantage could still lose in 2015. As a matter of fact to illustrate this point they used the campaign of the current mayor of Newark, New Jersey who was able to beat the establishment candidate in spite of a financial disadvantage.

Could any candidate for mayor be able to overcome that with Mayor Rahm Emanuel?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ask A Manager: how should students pick a college major?

When I was in school, if only someone could've counseled me on what I should've studied. And at that what I should've studied to set myself up for success in the long run. Well it's that and it's something that I should've sought for myself.

If only young people were reading this blog. Some are smart enough to do what I wish I did. And then you had some like me - while I was still in high school - who are still trying to figure that out. Indeed you need not figure it out in high school lots of students have changed majors, however, the sooner you figure it out the sooner you're done with college.

I wrote this comment in the post at Ask A Manager:
I have no regret about majoring in political science. Before I finally got a BA I also attended a community college and I should’ve taken some business classes although it likely would’ve affected what I’d have majored in before I transferred to a university. I didn’t entirely plan at all what I would do when I graduate, but sometimes I wish I had hit the ground running as far as jobs before I crossed that stage. Perhaps I’d be in a better position today.

Also the classes I took were great, but as far as my political science curriculum I wished there were more “governing” classes. Perhaps classes that would translate into a job in the real world and not more or less academic courses.
What I've had to learn is that college is too expensive these days to flip, flop, and flounder. Have a game plan and things will come up so make some adjustments. Of course while you're in school get some work experience especially internships in the field of your choice.

To be honest I was up for some internships but either the grades weren't right or there were some complications to ensure that it was good for college credit. Just some missed opportunities.

The main thing is, college is what you make of it if it's what you want to do. Get what you will out of it, especially learning and certainly preparing you for a career in the field of your choice.

Also, part of me still wouldn't mind going back to school and get a master's. Not sure in what yet, but when I first filed papers to take a major of political science one thing I certainly entertained doing was teach. Still wouldn't mind although I recognize that a college professor doesn't just teach. Of course that still depends on the school.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

VIDEO: Governor says tone of this President is troubling

[VIDEO] So I got wind of this video produced by the Republican Governor's Association back in February where Texas Gov. Rick Perry gave a talk about a number of subjects especially how states have interacted with this current President. As a matter of fact I found this video via CainTV which commented that Gov. Perry was discussing how President Obama threatened state governors.

While I recognize this is an old video, is this a recurring problem with the Obama administration and especially the President himself?

Monday, July 21, 2014

HuffPost: Black-Owned Businesses Are Quietly Powering Detroit's Resurgence, But No One's Talking About It

Today we're going to again visit the great American city of Detroit, Michigan. Apparently there's a story no one really discusses and apparently it doesn't only involve young white entrepreneurs:
The largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history has also stirred up interest in success stories. Though no one person will fix Detroit, some people have received well-deserved attention for their work to improve the city. A New York Times article last month highlighted hot spots in the Corktown neighborhood, and a story in the same paper earlier this year heralded small businesses.

But something's missing from those pieces, and from many other articles that examine the city's resurgence: black Detroiters, who make up 83 percent of the population.

Stories that claim entrepreneurs are building, revitalizing and even saving Detroit focus primarily on white professionals, often younger and new transplants to the city, a trend that's palpable and frustrating for locals. When journalists and readers criticized the Times for leaving blacks out of its Corktown story, the paper's public editor addressed the lack of diversity in a follow-up, and the writer said she regretted not including a black-owned business. (A more recent Times story takes a wider-ranging view.)

It's not difficult to find a black business owner to speak with, though. There are more than 32,000 in the city, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures from 2007. Many, particularly those who have kept their businesses going on shoestring budgets, feel excluded from conversations about Detroit's revival and overlooked when it comes to getting access to funds and resources.

"I think, for the most part, black-owned businesses are not getting a piece of the pie," bookstore owner Janet Jones told The Huffington Post. "What about people who have been doing the hard work of living and working and having business in Detroit for the last 20 years?"
What do you think?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Megan McArdle: Part-Time Workers Deserve the Shift, Not the Shaft

To start this piece from Bloomberg's Megan McArdle isn't dismissive of low-wage retail jobs. Indeed the argument here is that right now it's difficult to find a full-time job to make a decent income. Another argument is mandating how much a business should pay their employees could cause more harm than good.

Conclusion: "Ultimately, this comes back to the weak job market. As long as the demand for low-skilled labor significantly lags the supply, workers will continue to struggle. Unfortunately, legislators can’t mandate a strong labor market. So we’re apt to end up mandating more labor market rigidity instead."

Via Instapundit!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

These jobs are going away...

According to this article. It includes newspaper reporters, mail carriers, print workers, and even travel agents. I don't understand why farmers and flight attendants are going away. I would imagine they're always necessary in some capacity, food isn't going to grow and care for itself and passengers on a flight need attention the pilots can't get to them. Hopefully all these predictions won't come to fruition.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Wrestling nostalgia again

[VIDEO] I was about to get excited last night when watching Monday Night Raw last night I heard a familiar tune and it meant that the wrestler Sting might return to wrestling in a WWE ring. Instead what I saw was a commercial which featured Sting in a WWE produced video game. But the tune as it was presented was perfect, it should even be a recorded theme for Sting should WWE want to evoke those WCW memories.

Sting was a stalwart of WCW until it was purchased by WWE (which sometimes I still refer to as WWF on this blog) and refused to work for that company even as many of his colleagues had. For a few years he had been a star in TNA - Total Nonstop Action Wrestling which you may often see on Thursdays on SpikeTV. Earlier this year he left that company.

I've found some rumors that suggest he could come to WWE but so far he's talked about his former tag team partner - the man who became the Ultimate Warrior who's since passed away - and his likeness to be seen in a wrestling video game. Beyond that who knows what the future may hold for the Stinger!

BTW, I've been watching wrestling for a long time. Long enough to remember that Sting wasn't always this "Crow'" like character. He was often seemingly a colorful surfer dude character with color ring attire and facepaint in addition to a short haircut which was blond. I barely remember or even noticed that slowly his appearance began to change with longer and darker hair although the character when I started watching Sting was largely in tact.

Things changed when the NWO (New World Order) came along and according to the angle at the time no-one trusted Sting because the NWO had started parading around an impostor. Things came to a head at a WCW PPV and the distrust was certainly there as Sting's partners in an 8-man tag match didn't trust him in spite of him attacking his impostor.

Now that helps sets up this video and sets his full turn into the "Crow" like character. He starts dressing less colorfully and is often seen in black & white. Facepaint ring attire and all with much more dramatic music. It was a dramatic turnaround and Sting did much less talking and more swinging with a baseball bat as he continued to fight the NWO. Anyway before his full turn he gave a promo that further sets his storyline along.

BTW, sometimes in wrestling storylines could change in the blink of an eye and sometimes they are plans that are executed in advance. Who knows Sting's eventual change in appearance was planned in advance or this was his wish who knows. But it sure made watching WCW at one point in time compelling.

ALSO, I'm stilling trying to figure out the "Insane Icon" era in TNA. Sting was often referred to as an icon, but at some point he started emulating The Dark Knight's version of The Joker as portrayed by the late Heath Ledger. However Sting is still considered the good guy right?

FINALLY, it appears Sting may well find himself in a WWE ring. If this article is to be believed perhaps he may have one more match and at that against the Undertaker!